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Summer recommendations please!

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I really want to holiday in the mountains next summer and would love some recommendations please!

Kids will be aged 12 and 13 and we are a generally active family; we’d like zip wires, via ferrata, canyoning, rafting, swimming, down-hill biking etc to hand and, of course, stunning scenery.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@swoafs, Almost all the French ski resorts offer this range of activities plus a few more such as parapointing. We use Les Arcs and Arc Adventures supply all the activities. This activity looks to supply very bruised bottoms https://www.lesarcs.com/activites-sportives-ete/mountain-kart.html

If you are after the best scenery and more intersting via ferrata then it is hard to beat the Dolomites. If IIRC there is a high wires course in Corvara on the road to Kolfuschg but due to a shortage of suitable rivers I cannot recall any rafting.

Other people will be able to advise on Austria and though I have had summer holidays in Austria I cannot recall much about it. Except that one day we did a via ferrata and found ourselves on the top of the Zugspitze, in Germany
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@swoafs, in summer I would choose a real/life village than a purpuse build reasort. Samoens comes to mind, but there are many many other indeed
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As above, the vallee du Giffre covers many of the required activities http://www.ot-morillon.co.uk/i-organize-and-reserve/activities-hobbies/montagne-alpinisme/via-ferrata/ link for via ferrata, beautiful valley, close travel to so many other areas if interested, lac leman, Annecy etc.

Swimming lakes, white water, parapont etc all distributed locally too.

Reasonable drive from UK, very relaxed in summer, access to Chamonix day trip, many many attributes.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@swoafs, I know I'm biased as I live here nigh on 75% of the year Cool

But in the summer here in Serre Chevalier the place is a paradise for an active family like yours!

All around me I see people making the most of the fantastic "stuff" that there is to do.

From Briancon "City" at one end of the valley, with the old town resembling something out of Lord of the Rings / Game of Thrones surrounded by other forttresses on every mountain overlooking the town, this weekend, for instance, is a Medieval Fete all weekend in the old town with Genadarmes dressed us up as lepers Laughing

I'm just back from a hike up to a beautiful uncrowded lac of which there are a handful you can hike to and swim in, and that's' what so special, unlike the Northern Alps we are not as busy compared to the likes of Chamonix, when my friends from Les Houches come down they always exclaim as to how much quieter it is here.

As for activities just walking the dogs I see so much going on from kayaking and rafting on the rivers, via-Ferrata and rock climbing just in front of me, there are six or so VF's around the valley from 45min intro ones to more demanding 4 hrs ones likewise for the climbing.

My OH and I do "stuff" most days from long 5hr rides to 3-4hr, sometimes a lot longer, hikes along with the occasional Via Ferrata etc

There are also numerous high altitude refuges and of course if you take a guide you can go to the likes of La Grave and go out on the glacier and more, and do more altitude glacier hikes.

There are numerous bike shops where you can hire bikes, road, MTB, e-bikes and road bikes, and what happens in the Hautes Alpes in any one week there are numerous closures of classic Cols from 09:00 to Noon as they are only open to cyclists.

There's loads more stuff to do, from paintballing to karting etc etc.

And of course, the lifts are open giving great access to a number of bike parks, as well as other ways (mountain karts) of getting down the mountain.

If you drive out then 50mins down the road is Europe's largest man-made lake and that has sailing, kitesurfing and windsurfing, and if you need a sea fix we're only 3.5 hrs from the Med.

I just sent these links to someone I met cycling yesterday.

Road-bike rides
https://www.stylealtitude.com/cycle-routes-briancon-serre-chevalier.html

MTB with some of the military roads
https://www.stylealtitude.com/mtb-vtt-cycling-briancon-serre-chevalier.html

And superb hike to Lac de Cordes from Les Fonts
https://www.strava.com/activities/1108959628

And that other lac above Villar d'Arene that you can swim in with easy parking
https://goo.gl/maps/5PfEzHRmhSAFHG6f8

Phew typing this whilst listening to the Tour de France which again comes through past our front door 25th July.

PM if you have any questions re where to stay etc

One thing I would never do is camp in the mountains as there's never a week where we don't get at least one violent summer storm!
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Brilliant guys, thanks so much; JohnE, that link did make me grimace slightly. Bet the kids would love it though! We’ve skied in Les Arcs a couple of times so only for that reason I’m inclined to try somewhere new; the idea of having a proper town is a really good one so will look at Samoens and Serre Che. I think I’ve seen the latter recommended elsewhere as well and being (presumably?) able to drive over the cols into Italy in the summer is also an attractive idea. Weathercam, I’d love any accommodation suggestions etc please (an apartment would be ideal; minimum of 2 proper bedrooms to avoid family tension).

I’d love to hear of any Austrian suggestions too as I gather the meadows are beautiful and we haven’t managed any skiing there as a family yet so again the idea of somewhere new is a draw.

Is any part of the alpine weather in summer better or worse than any other? I have no problem with storms so long as they tend not to last all day!
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swoafs wrote:
...Is any part of the alpine weather in summer better or worse than any other? I have no problem with storms so long as they tend not to last all day!
In Austria at least, in my experience the only issue in summer is that you can get stable weather for quite a long period. That's good when it's good, but if it's raining, you may have that for a week or more.
That doesn't stop me going, but ya have to bear in mind that the weather doesn't always co-operate. But the beer is really good.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@swoafs, PM me and I'll give you some contacts for apartments in Serre Che, my own is only 1 bedroom so might be too small.
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@swoafs, PM me your email address and I’ll send you my comprehensive guide to summer activities in Saalbach-Hinterglemm.
The resort is very well geared up for summer holiday-makers, with loads to do (all the things you’ve mentioned and more), and a fantastic atmosphere with traditional costume, music and cuisine.
There are also many interesting excursions available - the Grossglockner, the Krimml waterfalls, the Werfen Ice Caves, Hohewerfen Castle (“featured in “Where Eagles Dare”), Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest at Berchtesgaden, Salzburg, and only 10 minutes down the road, one of the most scenic lakes in Austria at Zell am See, with the Kitzsteinhorn glacier at Kaprun also nearby. You can even get to Venice and back in a day.
We also know most of the Brits who have accommodation to let in and around Saalbach.
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Tatman and Hells Bells, thank you so much. I will PM you both.
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Oh, and Weathercam too; thank you all.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Quote:

I gather the meadows are beautiful

There are plenty of beautiful flower-strewn meadows in France too, complete with cows with bells on.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Quote:

complete with cows with bells on.

So it's not all good news. They do make a din.

The meadows in France are at their very best in June and early July for flowers. About now they will be mown and the hay dried. Lovely smells but less attractive to the eye

We are heading off to France on Wednesday, hopefully the weather will have cooled of a bit. One of the unsung adavantages of staying in a purpose built ski resort is the higher altitude makes them much cooler. There have been lots of days when we have been very glad to flee the heat of Bourg st Maurice and get back up to Arcs 1600 with the cooler temps and fresher air.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I'd add Slovenia to the list (Soca valley) for the canyoning, rafting, canoeing, kayaking etc.
Impressively blue water. oh and it's where they filmed one of the Narnia films.
Pretty cheap too.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Best timing for meadow flowers depends on altitude. And there are great second flowerings after the first cut. And wild raspberries later in the summer.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

And wild raspberries later in the summer.


Why do wild rasberries and strwberries taste much better than cultivated ones? As a child in the North East we started with bilberries, then blackberries. Rasberries could only be found in abandoned allotments. Now, here in the midlands, we have plum trees in the hedgerows.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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@johnE, you've reminded me of the bilberries we used to pick on the fell near home and the gorgeous raspberries my paternal grandfather used to grow just outside the kitchen door. I doubt many of them got into the house, as I just used to stand and pick them.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
johnE wrote:
We are heading off to France on Wednesday, hopefully the weather will have cooled of a bit. One of the unsung adavantages of staying in a purpose built ski resort is the higher altitude makes them much cooler. There have been lots of days when we have been very glad to flee the heat of Bourg st Maurice and get back up to Arcs 1600 with the cooler temps and fresher air.


The temperature on my balcony right now is showing as a very comfortable 25 degrees.
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@Hells Bells, The trouble with bilberries was that you sat amongst them and got your clothes stained with the juice. Hece getting into trouble from your mum.

@Alastair,
Quote:

The temperature on my balcony right now is showing as a very comfortable 25 degrees.

Just perfect, but the valley will be too hot
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@swoafs, may I suggest Oberstdorf? It's quite low but cheaper as a result and there's stacks to do around there. It's certainly a proper town and it's different being in the Bavarian Alps.
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We’ve been to Chamonix, Slovenia Lake Bohinj, Cortina, Solden, Kaprun and enjoyed them all as a family, girls aged 6-13. Lake water sports, cycling, walks off lifts, rock climbing, via Ferrara. Best by far was Solden. Has so much to do there and Their summer card is fantastic value and gives you access to so many activities including spa, area 47 water park, ozti villages, birds of prey centre,lifts, pools, MB hire. Only thing it doesn’t have is a lake which is why we went to KAprun the following year. Loved Slovenia but better for younger ones, Cham and Cortina too expensive as they had no inclusive summer card.
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@swoafs, as I'm headed out there next week, (and hope to catch up with JohnE) I too would recommend Les Arcs: and I would say especially as you have skiied there, rather than avoiding it.

There is nothing quite as awe-inspiring as seeing "You mean I skied that??!" in the summer. It also allows you to get some perspective on distances, and the time taken to walk / mountain bike, what you do in a matter of moments on planks. Your favourite resturants are open, and signficantly quieter, as well as being able to sit out for longer: and you already know, but really don't know, where you are. It's the same, but so, so different.

The range of activites is (to be fair, just as everywhere else mentioned on this thread) far better than your bog standard beach holiday. Occasionally it puts the fear of God into you: I still remember the English version of the safety briefing given to my 7 yo daughter at the Parcours in Nacroix. After 10 mins of doing the French, it went : "You have two carabiners. One must be attached to the ropes at all times. Have Fun!" Shocked

I too would go 'up the mountain'. we do go into Bourg for the fetes (and the Tour de France, coming through again this year) but it can get seriously hot in the valley. Of course it can get seriously stormy too up the hill, but then again, nothing quite like a mountain storm.

So much to do, so little time - we're out for 2 weeks, and I know it will not be enough. White Water rafting, hiking, tennis, MTB, swimming (can be chilly in the mountain lakes... but invigorating), canyoning, the multiple parcours options, horse-riding, snow-ball fights in those left-over patches when up high... and heading to the mountain refuge for one night away from the comfort of the apartment (I keep asking myself why do our friends want to do that?)

But, and again to be fair, if you are a mountain family, then wherever you go from the above list you will enjoy it.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Another northern child here; the Northumberland moors behind our house were full of bilberries growing up. The blackberries never quite seemed to ripen past eye-watering sourness though.... completely different to the South where we are now, where they ripen in August.

But anyway, back to the mountains in summer, I can already tell that one visit is not going to be anywhere near enough..... absolutely can’t wait for next year (pity it can’t be this year!!). I’m taking in all your suggestions....thank you so much!
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@Arctic Roll, Alastair just posted me this link. https://www.savoie-mont-blanc.com/offre/fiche/l-etape-du-tour-de-france-passage-a-bourg-saint-maurice/5261705 Sometimes movement in the mountains can be disrupted. 15,000 clyclists passing through Bourg st Maurice will make movement across the valley tricky and rule out any activities on the Cormet de Roseland.
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@Arctic Roll, @johnE responded by posting
this video which - even disregarding the cycling - has some lovely shots of the area we are lucky enough to have apartments in. Well worth watching. Hope to see you next week!

@swoafs, the video mentioned above illustrates rather well what a beautiful place the mountains can be in the summer.
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@Alastair, be good to give you a tour of 1950! JohnE and I have Pm'd - I'll follow up with you shortly.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Arctic Roll, What hut are you and your friends staying in and more importantly what route are you planning for the next day? I would love a tour of 1950. Beleive it or not I've only passed through it once or twice.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@johnE, aiming for either Turia (or St Martin if the knees can take it). May have to be an out-and-back, but will examine the routes when I get to my detailed maps ( which are, naturally, all in France...)

Message today from the domain saying Funi opening on 13th.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Another vote for the area mentioned by @ski3, lots to do but also access to other options. We are based in Les Carroz and do all of the things mentioned and always have at least one day trip to Annecy for amazing views, old town and lake swimming with pedalos etc esp good if it has turned cool up in the mountains. If it turns really cool you can drive through he Mt Blanc tunnel and soak up some Italian sunshine and food! Easy access to Chamonix to go walk inside a glacier as well.
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
We do all of these activities from Val d'Isere, but do the water based ones with H2o (miss spell is deliberate).

The absolute best activity is Canyoning and H2o do this in the Ruissieau de Hautville near Pombliere (Moutiers). If you get the chance, definitely give that a go.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@Arctic Roll, have a good trip down - I'm back in Les Arcs now and planning to leave on Saturday. It would be great to see you and to have a tour of 1950 - like @johnE I've only been through it and never really stopped to have a good look around.
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The clue is in the name.

Via ferrata is Italian.

Go to Cortina.
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